It is a set of practices and processes aiming to protect any organization's critical data. With the advent of cyberattacks in which, hackers and cybercriminals gain access to unauthorized and crucial data and misuse it. It consists of protecting the organization's network, devices, computers, and data infrastructure.
Types of Cybersecurity
It is a security measure that aims to control and avoid data leaks from the application. It can be described as taking preventive measures at the time of application development so that no vulnerability is left for cyber criminals to exploit and hence avoid any theft. However, it also consists of steps and approaches to defend the application once it is released for general use. Protection from the malicious APIs that interact with the application and bot attacks is also considered. It includes software and hardware security checks to identify and avoid data exposure. An example of hardware application security is whereby a router is used to avoid showing the computer's IP address on the Internet.
It is a security measure that aims to defend the organization's communication channels. It is done by preventing unauthorized entry into the organization's network architecture. It consists of tools that guard the network and applications running on it. Generally, it can be categorized into access control and Threat Control. Examples of these technologies are firewalls and load balancers. They protect the network from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Sandbox also falls under this category, where unwanted malware objects can be captured.
Most big or small businesses are moving to cloud-based storage solutions. A cloud security procedure should also be kept to avoid damaging the organization's valuable data. Due to the ease of accessing the data on the go, cloud storage has become quite popular. It hence has become a critical part of the digital infrastructure of an organization. It deals with the compliances related to how the data is stored in the cloud and the privacy aspect of it. It has some dedicated tools to ensure that information accumulated over the cloud is distributed and maintained securely. Some techniques employed are micro-segmentation, data encryption and threat intelligence, monitoring, and prevention systems.
These measures are used to secure the network's endpoints, like desktops and laptops, by controlling the network and data access. These devices are entry points for malware, Trojans, and other unwanted lines of code which may try to steal or damage valuable data. Endpoint security uses various detection, response, and prevention strategies to avoid data theft.
With the advancement in mobile technologies and the increase in BYOD culture, corporate data has become quite portable. This means that devices like mobiles and tablets carrying critical business data are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Mobile devices are secured by purpose-built software like MDM (Mobile Device Management), which ensures device security at the OS level. Using MDM, all the organization's devices can be secured using special updates simultaneously. Location monitoring and network monitoring can also be done using this software.
In this type of security, the main guiding principle is to never trust and always verify credentials before giving access to any kind of business data to personnel. Minimum rights are presented to the user required for performing an operation. Access is given based on the role of the user with proper authentication. It is used with third-party contractors and vendors who have access to the business data, and chances of critical information leaks are possible.
IoT has become necessary in IT infrastructure connecting all the sensors, servers, computers, and other intelligent devices. Any minor loophole in this interconnected network can lead to exploitation and damage to the business, and IoT security protects and controls the network activities.
Why is Cybersecurity Important?
In present times data has become one of the most precious assets in the digital world. Any person with malicious intent can misuse the data. Identity theft, Bank fraud, ransomware, and the selling of customers' critical data are some prevalent cybercrimes. Most of the cyberattacks happening today are focused on small businesses that don't have enough budget allocated to the security side. These attacks can put organizations out of business and can lead to loss of livelihood for many individuals.
One of the major concerns of these cyberattacks is that hackers and cyber criminals sell personal information like contact numbers and addresses on the Internet which can put the lives of individuals at risk.
What is a Cybersecurity Specialist?
A cybersecurity specialist in a company is the person responsible for securing and protecting the business data of the organization from any cyber threats. Ensuring that there are no vulnerabilities or loopholes present in the network for cybercriminals to exploit is one of the primary responsibilities.
How to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist?
A formal education in computer science or a related field is preferred to become a cybersecurity specialist. Deep knowledge of subjects like networking and databases is also important for this profile. Specialization can also be done in these fields. Certifications that are available from reputed universities prove beneficial. Some of the common cybersecurity certifications are Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
What do Cybersecurity Specialists do?
Cybersecurity specialists work in conjunction with the IT teams of the organization to protect the firm from threats and vulnerabilities. Data monitoring and threat assessment a regular intervals are one of their duties. They design network and data pathways using the latest security techniques and available tools.
Job Role and Responsibilities
Below are some of the job responsibilities of a cybersecurity specialist:
- Assessing the new threats and vulnerabilities in the present network infrastructure.
- Creating authentication-based access to critical business data.
- Implementing the latest security tools and techniques to make the existing security systems more robust.
- Updating the firewalls and providing training to all the personnel so that data leaks at any level can be avoided.
Hard and Soft Skills for a Cyber Security Specialist
In-depth knowledge of the programming languages like Java, Python, and C++ is preferred. Operational understanding of networks and particularly different network layers is a must. A solid understanding of security algorithms, firewalls, and databases is desirable. Verbal and written proficiency goes a long way in the individual's professional career. Constant urge to learn about new tools and techniques related to the field is preferred.
Career as a Cybersecurity Specialist
Cybersecurity has become one of the most sought-after job roles in the market today. Every firm needs to protect its valuable data from constant threats; hence, the demand for this job profile has skyrocketed. There are various job positions that fall under the cyber security domain. Incident and Intrusion Analysts, IT auditors, Cybersecurity consultants, penetration and vulnerability Tester, Cyber Security Engineers are to name a few.
Salary for Cybersecurity Specialist
The salary of the cybersecurity specialist is at par with the trending job positions in the market. Most of the employees with this job title have projected over time to have job satisfaction. Average annual salary of the cybersecurity specialist ranges anywhere from USD80,000 to USD 104,000.
Job Outlook for Cybersecurity Specialist
There is a very high demand for this skill set in the market and it is expected to grow by 30% in the coming years. it is faster than the other sectors which are in the market. This Industry also has more job security as compared to the other fields.
Hiring Companies and Opportunities
As mentioned, there are a lot of opportunities in the market for cybersecurity professionals. Companies from different sectors like banking, Insurance, consulting, finance, software solution providers, and consumer products manufacturers have openings for professionals having this particular skill set. To name a few, Deloitte, Nike, SAIC, Capital Group, and ManTech offer job positions in this domain.
1. What security tools are used by cybersecurity professionals?
Depending on what part of a network is being tested or analyzed, there are different types of tools available some of them are mentioned below:
- John the Ripper: It is used for testing the strength of the password. It is used to detect any weak passwords which may lead to compromising the security.
- Wireshark: It is used for analyzing network security. It catches the data packet being sent or received in the network.
- Aircrack-ng: It is used to monitor the network and export the network information to text files so that the data can be further analyzed in depth. It also supports data capture and injection of the modified data packets into the network
- Tor: It is used to provide the user with a safe and secure connection over the internet. It works through the Onion Layer algorithm. The original IP address of the system is passed through the proxy servers distributed worldwide to make it harder to trace the user's actual location.
- Kali Linux: It is a fully loaded cybersecurity operating system in itself and comes with preloaded tools to secure and assess the network.
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Hope this article was able to give you a better understanding on how to become a cyber security specialist. If you are looking to launch your career as a cybersecurity professional, we would highly recommend you to check Simplilearn’s Advanced Executive Program in Cybersecurity in collaboration with IIIT Bangalore. This course can help you gain the right skills and kickstart your career as a professional cybersecurity expert.
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